TWiP: Fewer Words


I came to a decision this week about my Project 365 theme of “Words.” I had such grand plans with this theme – I envisioned myself seeking out profound commentary in street signs and found phrases. The reality was more along the lines of this: I’d come home from work with little-to-no light left, and quickly snap a shot of anything I could find around the house that had words on it.

Maybe this would have gotten better in the summer when the light was more plentiful, and I ventured out of the house and the office more, but I’ve already lost too much enthusiasm to give it a chance.

So. Starting this week, I’m going to keep my eye out for intriguing words, but if I see something else that I find more appealing, I’m going to shoot that instead. Seven days in, and I’m already much happier.

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

Itโ€™s a roundup of the photos I shot for Project 365 (the unofficial, when-I-feel-like-it theme for 2017 is “words”), plus some snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

๐Ÿ“ท = taken with my Canon DSLR
๐Ÿ“ฑ = taken with my Samsung phone

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…

Saturday

365 ๐Ÿ“ฑ: 2017 112/365 – There are Rs of many shapes, sizes, and colors at the ol’ Rodriguez homestead. [Taken at my parents’ house.]

Sunday

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: I started my #pdcvernalpool sweater again, this time with a new design and a tweaked color palette. The motifs take up several fewer rounds each, and I’ve removed the two shades of Gray and replaced them with another green and another aqua. I’m about 2/3 through the yoke and already am much happier than I was with my previous attempt. And how great is it to have a whole #lazysunday to work on it? Super great. I may even finish this yoke today ๐Ÿ˜Š

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2017 113/365 – Lazy Sunday knitting, and the late afternoon sunlight creeps across the bed.

Monday

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: Ooh, I am glad I started over with this. I really like this so much better than the last version ๐Ÿ˜Š

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2017 114/365 – This is just a guess, but I’d say maybe Eamonn’s seasonal allergies have kicked in…

Tuesday

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2017 115//365 – I want a background for my desktop at work that’s not so busy that it fights with the icons, but is not as boring as a solid color. So I took this very out-of-focus picture of my current knitting project, and tweaked the colors a little bit in lightroom. I think this will do nicely.

Wednesday

365 ๐Ÿ“ท: 2017 116/365 – I thought it would be prudent to try it on this time, *before* I go to the trouble of knitting the entire body. The fit is perfect so far. Phew! (P.S. Hi there!)

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: We always eat so healthily when @clarkesworld isn’t home…

Thursday

365 ๐Ÿ“ฑ: 2017 117/365 – I picked Aidan up early from school on my lunch hour, and took him back to work with me for the afternoon for Take Your Kid to Work Day. I loved these tulips I saw on the school grounds, so I had to stop and take their picture, of course ๐Ÿ™‚ [Taken at Aidan’s school.]

Friday

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: TFW your coaster coordinates with your vintage sheet shirt. ๐Ÿ’“ [Taken at work.]

Instagram ๐Ÿ“ฑ: Lunch hour outdoor #knitting FTW! ๐ŸŒž [Taken at work.]

365 ๐Ÿ“ฑ: 2017 118/365 – Sometimes I remember just as I’m climbing into bed, that I forgot to take a 365 picture. This is not an ideal situation, but it beats remembering it the following morning when it’s too late to do anything about it ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on Flickrย and/or Instagram.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

SAME WEEK PREVIOUS YEARS (2015, 2016)

This Week in Picturesย 

Then and Now





Last week, on a dark and rainy day, I changed up my routine. I often go out during my lunch hour, mostly for a change of scenery and a breath of fresh air, but that day I skipped it. I didn’t feel like getting soaking wet. Instead, I pulled out my tablet, and spent half an hour reading knitting blogs.

It made me wistful for the Old Days. I used to start my day snuggled in bed next to my younger son, reading Posie Gets Cozy. And after the kids were safely off to school, and Neil was off at work, I’d brew a cup of coffee and enjoy some more favorite reads. Sometimes, I’d write a post for my own blog instead.

These days, I wake up with the New York Times, and have my morning coffee in front of three monitors and a screen full of PHP code.

It’s a different world.

Not necessarily bad, mind you. Just different. And sometimes I miss how much those old mornings felt like a cozy warm blanket.

Now more than ever, I feel the importance of finding beauty in my surroundings. I began taking photos in earnest in 2007, and one of the biggest motivating factors for me was better appreciation of everyday moments. And really, it was easy then. I had adorable little kids and I was full of creative projects to capture. These days, the kids want very little to do with my camera, and the moments I spend at home are not exactly flooded in natural daylight.


I’ve tried to inject some beauty to my work surroundings – the number of crochet coasters and do-dads topping my desk are a testament to that, as are my flowery polymer-covered thumb tacks. I created a Dropbox folder that connects my home laptop with my work computer, and when I’m processing my photos at home, I drop them into the folder to be used by my work screen saver. I always have a month’s worth of recent photos playing on my three monitors during my lunch hour.

I don’t really have a point here. I have just been thinking about those old days, and all of the pictures I used to take of everyday things. Occasionally, if I’m home, and the lighting is right, I still find some shots to take (I mean, that dishwasher rack was just dying to be photographed during my day off last month!). And once in a while I take a photo or two at work with my phone (which is miles ahead of the actual camera I used to use in 2007) but I have to be careful about that. I’m not there to make things pretty, after all. I’m there to be a programmer. I generally restrict my picture-taking activity to first thing in the morning (I tend to get there 5-10 minutes early) or my lunch hour. Either way, there’s only so much that can be photogenic in a cubicle, anyway.

I think the harder it is to carve out time to notice the pretty little things, the more important it is to do it!

TWiP: This and That

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

Itโ€™s a roundup of the photos I shot for Project 365 (the theme for 2017 is “words”), plus some snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

= taken with my Canon DSLR
= taken with my Samsung phone

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…

Saturday

Instagram : It’s all unraveled and now I’ll start over. Maybe tonight, maybe next September . #pdcvernalpool

365 : 2017 105/365 – File Online – At Starbucks, having breakfast, and doing the bare minimum not to get audited. [Taken at Starbucks.]

Sunday

365 : 2017 106/365 – Happy Easter – Uncle Neil and Kailey, picking up all of the eggs before it rains! [Taken at my in-laws’ house.]

Monday

365 : 2017 107/365 – No Parking Fire Zone – The office building where I work is surrounded by pretty flowering trees, so I brought my camera to work with me and spent part of my lunch hour taking photos. They have purple trees here! I find the purple ones so exotic… [Taken at work.]

Tuesday

365 : 2017 108/365 – More Straws – When I am at work, and I think of something I need to do at home, or bring in the next day, I slap a post-it- note on my tablet. It’s very effective, because I always spend time on my tablet in the evenings, so I always see the notes.

Wednesday

365 : 2017 109/365 – Worl Language Honor Society Induction – Aidan was inducted into the National Spanish Honor Society tonight [Taken at Aidan’s school.]

Thursday

365 : 2017 110/365 – Pike Place – I’m obeying that note on my tablet from a few days ago, and bringing in some decaf that *isn’t* flavored so strongly with caramel that it contaminates the next two cups of regular coffee that are made after it…

Friday

Instagram : Good morning, Instagram [Taken at work.]

365 : 2017 111/365 – Chipotle – Had a rice bowl for lunch, brought the extra napkins home to use with dinner.

Instagram : It’s Friday night, it’s been almost a week since I unraveled my sweater, and I think it’s time to cast on again. Got my buckwheat tea and DVR backlog to keep me company

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on Flickrย and/or Instagram.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

SAME WEEK PREVIOUS YEARS (2015, 2016)

This Week in Picturesย 

Pink (and white and purple) trees!

I mentioned here a long long time ago, that I had serious pink tree envy. I still do. In previous years, in order to get my flowering tree fix, I’ve had to go to Branch Brook Park, or sneak into my neighbor’s yard. This year, though, I was happy to discover that the landscape around the building where I work is surrounded by flowering trees! Jackpot!

They have the familiar white ones in the courtyard, and a really lovely pink variety lining the rows of the parking lot. But the coolest thing to me? The purple ones.ย I know of very few purple trees, and none of them are planted anywhere that I can get a shot of them. But these are right outside the entrance to the building, and easily accessible. Cool.

I only brought my 35mm lens with me today, so I couldn’t get very close to the purple blossoms. (Those trees are relatively tall.) I’m considering bringing in my zoom lens later this week.

TWiP: Pleasant Weather

I’m in Starbucks this morning, sipping Blonde Roast and doing my taxes. And by “doing my taxes” I mean logging in to the software for the first time this year, and selecting the “file an extension” linkย ๐Ÿค‘

If you were at all invested in the progression of the Vernal Pool pullover I introduced you to last week, you’ll see by the end of this post that the story has come to a less-than-satisfying conclusion. (Spoiler alert…)

I was satisfied to just let it go for now, but as of this morning I have a renewed interest. Before heading to Starbucks, I grabbed my Rainbow Porthole, threw it over my head and was reminded why I started the new sweater. This porthole is just the best kind of “wear everyday” sweater. The shape is perfect. Everything about it is perfect, except maybe the color scheme. While I like the rainbow thing, it’s not my favorite. I need something in all of those blues and greens that make me happiest. And while I could just make another Porthole Pullover just like the rainbow one, I really want to do something different with the yoke.

So I’m still thinking about the darn thing, and despite the fact that it will surely be too warm to wear a sweater by the time I finish, I do think I may find myself casting on again very very soon.

#knittersgonnaknit

Well, it looks like I’m out of coffee and out of things to say. I’m going to get myself a free refill, proofread this post, and then go home. Have a lovely weekend!

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

Itโ€™s a roundup of the photos I shot for Project 365 (the theme for 2017 is “words”), plus some snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

= taken with my Canon DSLR
= taken with my Samsung phone

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…

Saturday

Instagram : Good morning, Instagram It’s a beautiful Saturday a.m. in New Jersey. I’m spending it sipping coffee, processing a few photos from last week, and writing my weekend blog post. What are you up to?

365 : 2017 98/365 – Happy Birthday Eamonn – Game night tonight! And a cake for the boy who turned 14 on Tuesday.

Sunday

Instagram : It’s an open-window morning! I’m hanging out here on the bed, working on my new pullover, and watching a new-to-me knitting podcast on YouTube. (@littlebobbins #littlebobbinsknits ) I think listening to people chat about what they’re making is a nice accompaniment to my own stitching (when I’m not watching mysteries). So, educate me: what are your favorite knitting or crocheting podcasts? I need to pick a few to subscribe to

365 : 2017 99/365 – Neil Clarke – Somebody around here is kind of a big deal.

Instagram : You guys, I am seriously considering ripping back this sweater. Like way back. Like all the way to this color change here back The yoke is really long. I think it will be ok with blocking, but maybe it won’t. And the more I look at it, the more I wish I’d handled the transition from teal to olive differently. And, yeah, actually, maybe I should rip back even further and re-do ALL of the pattern stripes in a slightly different color arrangement… But if I start over, there is no way I’ll be able to wear it before the weather gets too warm. I’m already pushing my luck as it is. Waaaaaah! Indecision!

Monday

365 : 2017 100/365 – No Parking – It’s been such a beautiful day! And it’s not a bad evening, either. Aidan and I took a short walk around the park after dinner tonight – the first time this year! [Taken at the park.]

Tuesday

365 : 2017 101/365 – Not all who wander are lost – I used to have this magnet on my car. I should put it back – I’ve been doing a lot of lunch-hour wandering lately.

Wednesday

365 : 2017 102/365 – Summer! – We had a few days that were so nice and warm that it inspired me to get out the Summer music for my drive ๐Ÿ™‚ [Taken at the gas station.]

Instagram : It’s official. I’m unraveling my #pdcvernalpool sweater. I finished the body, tried it on, and I have never seen such a terrible fit. Completely unsalvageable. Oh well. Maybe I’ll try again in a few months. For now, I’ve seen enough of this pullover

Instagram : Hello, and welcome to that time of night where I sip buckwheat tea and ponder whether I’ll be putting away the laundry before bedtime, or just shoving it out of the way until tomorrow. (I’m leaning towards shoving.)

Thursday

365 : 2017 103/365 – Blended – It’s 7pm and I’m brewing coffee on the front steps. I really hope this jar full of odds and ends is at *least* half decaf, or I’m in for a long wakeful night.

Friday

Instagram : So excited to finally see some of this blossom action around here [Taken in the parking lot at work.]

365 : 2017 104/365 – Closer than they appear – It’s been a good week for driving with the windows open!

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on Flickrย and/or Instagram.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

SAME WEEK PREVIOUS YEARS (2015, 2016)

This Week in Picturesย